What is tooth discolouration and what can you do about it?

Tooth discolouration


Our teeth are exposed to a tremendous number of strong forces. The pressure we exert on them every day is enormous. Proportionally the masseter muscle, which mediates chewing, is considered the strongest muscle in the human body. Teeth are also exposed to numerous other factors, such as foods and drinks with many various chemical compositions. Our foods can be both acidic or caustic and can contain various materials that are capable of staining them. Our teeth are naturally resistant to chemical changes of the oral cavity, however over time they can become discoloured. If you would like to get teeth whitening in Glasgow, book an appointment in our dentistry, Dental FX.

What causes tooth discolouration?

Tooth discolouration can be caused by a wide range of both natural and unnatural factors. Unnatural factors include the build up of dental plaque, which if left untreated calcifies into harder calculus. Tobacco consumption in most forms and, in cultures where it is prevalent, betel nut chewing has also been proved to cause tooth discolouration. Food and drink, such as red wine, coffee or black tea as well as many others can also contribute to tooth discolouration. Interestingly, the use of antiseptic mouthwashes have also been associated with tooth discolouration: cetylpyridinium chloride, an antibacterial compound often present in mouthwashes can leave bacterial residue behind. Chlorhexidine, another antimicrobial compound found in mouthwashes, also causes tooth discolouration by binding with tannins, found in coffee, tea and red wine. Metal compound exposure such as iron, cadmium, nickel, copper and iodine can result in tooth discolouration too. Even some antibiotics can have been shown to induce tooth discolouration. Then there are the natural causes including tooth decay, fluorosis, dental trauma or amalgam fillings as well as the natural aging process, which all contribute to tooth discolouration. In order to combat the formation of calculus it is imperative that you brush and floss your teeth regularly and moderate your coffee, tea and red wine consumption in order to avoid tooth discolouration. So there really is nothing wrong with wanting or needing to whiten your teeth in Glasgow, so why not book an appointment with us.

How does tooth whitening work?

At our dentistry, Dental FX, various teeth whitening solutions are available. Often, a visit to our dental hygienist is enough. We use Airflow treatments, which consist of compressed air with water and fine dust particles, which remove dental plaque and staining effortlessly and seamlessly. Airflow can produce great results and is a very quick and effective treatment. In cases where this is not sufficient, there is no reason to worry. During our teeth whitening treatment we also use a special gel with bleaching capabilities that is filled into whitening trays. This gently and safely removes any discolouration and staining from your teeth. During this treatment our cosmetic dentist will take an impression of your dental arches, which is used as a blueprint to manufacture your whitening trays. Once the whitening tray is made, the tooth whitening itself happens in the comfort of your home over the course of around 2 weeks. The trays are made on-site in Dental FX so you do not need to wait long to get them. Before starting your teeth whitening treatment, your dentist will check for any conditions that would make you unsuitable for teeth whitening.